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Title:  Intergenerational Partnerships in Adult Day Centers: Importance of Age-Appropriate Environments and Behaviors.

Author (s):  Sonia Miner Salari

Abstract: Purpose: This research identified the potential for infantilization of clients in centers that offer an occasional program of combined adult and child day care. Design and Methods: The study used a comparative ethnographic approach, which analyzed observation and interview data collected from two adult day centers that offered intergenerational activities. Special attention was paid to the environment, behaviors, and clients’ interaction patterns. Results: The adult day center cultures varied widely in age appropriateness, opportunities for autonomy, privacy regulation, choice, and adult interaction, especially as children were introduced into the setting. Infantilization occurred in the intergenerational program when the adults and children were treated as status equals, and the activities and environments were only child oriented. Older persons perceived a need for an “escape option” if contact with children was overstimulating or age inappropriate. Positive intergenerational experiences involved adults in a mentoring role, voluntary participation, and client initiated contact with children. Implications: This study explores the influence of intergenerational programming in adult day centers, and bridges the gap between theory and practice with implications for other aging services.

Category: Environment

Keywords: infantilization, aging services, intergenerational programming, adult day care, childcare, environmental infantilization

Reference: Salari, S. M. (2002).  Intergenerational Partnerships in Adult Day Centers: Importance of Age-Appropriate Environments and Behaviors. The Gerontologist, (42)3: 321–33.

Peer-reviewed journal: yes

Link to Full Texthttp://gerontologist.oxfordjournals.org/content/42/3/321.abstract

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